Aja Dang is a former TV personality who transitioned into a YouTube lifestyle vlogger in 2012.
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Followers of the social media influencer have long admired her for the sincerity and down-to-earth vibe she exudes in her work.
Her transparency to her audience is made even more evident in a YouTube video she posted back in December in which she discussed a subject rarely talked about on social media: student loans.
In the video, the 31-year-old Hawaii native shared her struggles with figuring out how to pay for her student loan for the month.
Dang, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at private universities, revealed that her student loan debt is around $200,000.
According to Dang, she is committed to confronting the enormous loan by adding more sources of income and properly managing her budget.
“That’s why I’m doing dog-sitting because although it doesn’t happen every day, it is more money. It’s not like a large amount of money, but it is more,” Dang said.
She also stated that while her financial situation is “debilitating and embarrassing,” she is still positive she will be able to overcome the loan in a few years.
“If you’re in debt and feeling like you’ll never be out of it, just know that I am right there with you. Sometimes I get anxiety and I cry because I feel so stupid that I got myself into the situation,” Dang noted.
“Now I’m making more conscious decisions in a more conscious effort to not live this way anymore.”
In her video description, Dang wrote that she hopes her story will help others who are in the same situation to feel that they are not alone.
Her first video on the subject has since been viewed over 230,000 times, generating positive feedback from her audience.
Dang also made her monthly budget available to viewers via a Google sheet in her subsequent videos where she admits that she continues to struggle setting aside as much as she intended to toward repaying her debt.
In a more recent video, Dang lamented that her earnings as a self-employed entrepreneur are inconsistent, noting that while she may have earned over $30,000 in May, she doesn’t earn enough money in other months.
“On YouTube, everything is perfect. Everything is edited,” Dang told Huffington Post in an interview. “All the big YouTubers are just showing off their big houses and their fancy cars, but that’s not my life, so I can’t show that off. That’s not my reality. Being in debt and trying to dig myself out of it is, and that’s the reality for a lot of people. If anything, now those people don’t feel alone. They know and they’re watching someone struggle through the process of paying that off. Which is really cool.”
Featured Image via Instagram / ajadang